President & CEO Search

About the Joyce Foundation

The Joyce Foundation is a private, nonpartisan philanthropy that invests in public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region. The Foundation, with assets of $1.3 billion, awarded 380 grants last year totaling $59.2 million.

Joyce supports policy research, development, and advocacy in six program areas: Culture, Democracy, Education & Economic Mobility, Environment, Gun Violence Prevention & Justice Reform, and Journalism. Joyce primarily focuses its grant-making in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin, while also exploring promising, evidence-informed policy solutions nationally and at the federal level.


Chicago, IL

Reports To

Board of Directors

Direct Reports

Chief Operating Officer; Chief Investment Officer & Treasurer; Chief External Affairs Officer; and Vice President, Programs

Position Summary

The Joyce Foundation seeks a strategic leader to serve as its next President & Chief Executive Officer. The future President & CEO will build upon the legacy that Ellen Alberding has established in her 34-year tenure at the Foundation, including 22 years as CEO. The successor will continue the organization’s longstanding commitment to the future of the Great Lakes region through its long-term strategies to shape policy that advance racial equity and economic mobility.

With a strong presence in Chicago, a clear commitment to the Great Lakes region, and influence at a national level, Joyce is known for its commitment to, and impact on, seemingly intractable issues. The Foundation does this by: focusing its efforts on supporting research and smart policy change; using data and evidence to inform its work; and taking calculated risks to make big bets. In addition, the Joyce Foundation works collaboratively with other organizations on areas of shared interest, serving as a ‘force multiplier’ in the philanthropic sector and mobilizing a range of stakeholders on strategic issues.

Staying true to Joyce’s core approach, the next CEO will guide the organization in finding new ways to increase impact. The successful candidate will bring the ‘big picture’ thinking that is so critical to the organization’s effectiveness, ensuring connectivity and impact across Joyce’s six programs. The CEO will be a strong operational leader and culture builder, committed to Joyce’s mission to advance racial equity and economic mobility, and will inherit a strong and committed staff dedicated to advancing these values. Importantly, the next CEO will lead the Foundation with a long-term view of both policy change and philanthropy, leveraging a talented team of professionals in Joyce’s respective focus areas.

Key Responsibilities

  • Provide the vision and strategy necessary to enhance the Foundation’s impact.
  • Work collaboratively with Board and staff, leveraging their expertise and passion to lead, support, guide and execute the Foundation’s mission and multifaceted initiatives.
  • Uphold the Foundation’s history, culture, and reputation. Help the Foundation evolve to meet the changing needs of the Great Lakes region.
  • Partner collaboratively with the Board and staff to develop programming, grant-making, legal strategies and systems that are aligned with the Foundation’s vision and mission.
  • Serve as the Foundation’s ambassador to external constituencies.
  • Work collaboratively with other private and/or public funders and grantees for greater social impact.
  • Inspire decision-making in other external stakeholders.
  • Oversee the work of the organization.
  • Make decisions that support efficient and effective Foundation functioning.
  • Provide inspiration, support, and guidance to the team.
  • Promote an organizational culture that stimulates open communication and supports collaboration.
  • Supervise the investment management and financial administration strategies and systems that are effective and aligned with the Foundation’s vision and mission.
  • Build accountability standards and systems that will track the Foundation’s long-term effectiveness and impact.

The Foundation has retained Heidrick & Struggles as our partner for the CEO search. Expressions of interest or nominations can be sent to: [email protected].